Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Octogenarian Leads Raft Expedition Across Atlantic


All the materials [for the raft] have been either donated or purchased by Mr Smith, who is spending compensation he received after he was run over by a van two years ago – an accident that has left the adventurer, writer and grandfather with metal pins in his leg. More here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Letter to a Renaissance Humanist

I seem to be a bit slow to agree with with the idea that a piazza must be an irregular and varied composition. I would still prefer it to be as well ordered and unified as the architect can make it.

Where does one make such a distinction? Wasn't the goal of the great Renaissance and Baroque architects to create rational and ordered buildings and public spaces? It doesn't seem to make sense to compose ensembles that merely please us in a picturesque way. This would seems to subvert the ordering role of the architect in the cause of the chaotic and in many cases disorderly and irrational effects of time and human error.

Also, I have it ingrained in me not to like the "American" street grid, but I have this nagging feeling that it is really something that, as a classicist, I should like. I'm thinking here of Miletus, of Roman town planning, of Ferrara and the Renaissance gridded plan. Perhaps, like the regular, unified "boring" piazza, the regular uniform "boring" street grid can hold great possibilities?

The praiseworthiness of an overt architectural demonstration of the disconnect between the ideal and the real seems ridiculous in the face of the awesome impossibility of the ideal ever really being approached.

Best wishes,
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